Transfer technology to combat climate change, poverty: Kamal Nath

March 11th, 2008 - 10:40 am ICT by admin  

By Dipankar De Sarkar
London, March 11 (IANS) Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath has added his voice to growing calls for transfer of green technology to developing countries, saying failure to do so could risk the fight against climate change. “Unless there is access to technology and transfer of technology to developing countries it (progress on climate change) is not going to happen,” Kamal Nath said at the Royal Institute of International Affairs here Monday.

“We need to find a mechanism which enables a transfer of this technology. I’m sure it’s not the case where you say, ‘come down to three or four percent growth.’ Because then there will be more poverty, which pollutes,” he said in his address to a conference on “The New Politics of the Global Economy”.

Rejecting suggestions that rich nations should sell rather than transfer expensive green technology, Kamal Nath said it was important to realise that two of the engines of the future growth of the global economy were Africa and Asia.

“They are the new economies of consumption,” Kamal Nath said.

The Indian minister said new rules of world trade being framed under the Doha Development Round must lead to “healthy economies” in Africa and Asia.

Kamal Nath, who was environment minister at the time of the 1992 Earth Summit at Rio de Janeiro, said much of drive for renewable energy sources generated at the summit soon lost its momentum.

Underlining the need for technology transfer and research, he said: “The solar energy commitments (of Rio) remained for a year or so” and finally, “those who had money had no sun, and those who had sun had no money”.

The current response to the threat of climate change, he said, needed “common but differentiated responsibilities”.

Kamal Nath made the demand as two senior European foreign policy officials Monday warned of increased immigration into Europe as a result of displacements triggered by climate change.

The ravages already being inflicted on parts of the developing world by climate change are creating a new type of refugee, the “environmental migrant”, said Javier Solana, the European Union’s chief foreign policy coordinator and Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the European commissioner for external relations.

Within a decade “there will be millions of environmental migrants, with climate change as one of the major drivers of this phenomenon”.

“Europe must expect substantially increased migratory pressure,” they added.

They said some countries already badly hit by global warming are demanding that climate change be recognised internationally as a valid reason for migration.

Their report is to be tabled Thursday at an EU summit in Brussels.

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